Snider faces challenger in primary
By Robert Cloud
Veronica Isherwood has entered the race for Waupaca County district attorney.
She filed her declaration of candidacy with the state Government Accountability Board Monday, May 23.
Isherwood seeks to unseat John Snider, who has run unopposed for the office since he was first elected in 1986.
Hired as an assistant district attorney in Waupaca County in the summer of 2014, Isherwood has an additional 13 years of experience as an assistant district attorney in Portage County.
While in Portage County, Isherwood handled all of the juvenile justice and child protection cases. She also prosecuted 30 percent of the felonies and 33 percent of the misdemeanors.
Isherwood and other members of the Portage County district attorney’s office each handled nearly 1,000 cases per year.
“I did everything from possession of drug paraphernalia to homicide,” Isherwood told the Waupaca County Post in a September 2014 interview.
Since coming to Waupaca County, Isherwood has prosecuted several homicide cases.
On Oct. 15, 2014, Isherwood filed felony charges against Joseph Jackson, one day after he admitted to Detective Sgt. Brian Hoelzel that he held his 2-year-old stepson face down in a bed until the boy stopped breathing five months earlier. The autopsy had been unable to determine the cause of the boy’s death, making the case difficult to prosecute until Jackson’s confession.
On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Isherwood filed OWI homicide charges against Allen Guse, who was accused of killing 35-year-old Matthew Egerer in a drunken driving crash at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, March 14.
On April 12, Isherwood filed homicide charges against Zachary Hohn and Adam Ozuna, who were accused of killing Matthew Pagel on April 11.
Isherwood was 40 years old when she entered law school.
She grew up in Oconomowoc and majored in accounting as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Isherwood began her career as an auditor for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, owned and operated a large day care center, then managed the Barron County child support agency before returning to school to earn a law degree.
Isherwood graduated from UW-Madison in 1998. She interned at the Portage County district attorney’s office, then spent three years in private practice in Plover and Wisconsin Rapids.
“When there was an opening with the Portage County DA in 2001, they hired me,” Isherwood said.
She received the Prosecutor of the Year award from the state’s Assistant District Attorneys Association in 2008.
In 2012, Isherwood ran as a Democrat for Portage County district attorney after her former boss, Tom Eagon, was elected Portage County Circuit Court judge.
She was defeated in the primary by Louis Molepske Jr., who had represented the area for the prior 10 years as an Assembly member.
Isherwood is running against Snider in the Republican primary, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 9.
A prosecutor’s role
For Isherwood, a good prosecutor must have compassion for both the victim and the defendant.
“There are some very bad people out there and then there are good people who make mistakes,” Isherwood said. “We have that humbling power to have to differentiate between the two, to determine whether it’s punishment or rehabilitation. It’s really amazing that they ask another human being to do that without a crystal ball.”